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Transcript: The patterns and motions of the stars in the night sky can be used for navigation. In the Northern Hemisphere the stars all appear to move about a fixed point in the sky called the Northern Celestial Pole. There happens to be a fairly bright star in this direction called Polaris. The elevation of Polaris above the horizon gives your latitude on the Earth’s surface. For thousands of years navigators have been able to use the motions and patterns in the night sky to navigate. Islanders in small boats in the South Pacific were able to travel distances of several thousand miles with an accuracy of fifty or sixty miles purely using the motions and patterns of the night sky.
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Transcript: In the year 584 B.C., on the coast of Asia Minor, two warlike tribes were engaged in a fierce battle: the Medes and the Lydains. As written by the Greek poets, these two cultures were hacking away at each other on the battlefield with burnished swords and shields, when suddenly the...
Published 07/12/11
Transcript: Thales was a philosopher who lived in the 6th century B.C. in Miletus, in what is now Turkey. No written work by Thales survives, but we know that he kept accurate eclipse records and he speculated about astronomy. He decided that the source of all things was one thing, and that...
Published 07/12/11
Transcript: The apparent motions of the stars in the night sky depend on your position on the Earth’s surface. At a northern temperate latitude, the stars rise in the east and set in the west, and they travel on slanting paths across the sky. The north celestial pole sits in the northern sky...
Published 07/12/11